With more than 335 species, hummingbirds are the second most diverse lineage of birds in the Americas and are the primary lineage of avian pollinators. By their very existence, hummingbirds benefit humans, but over 15% of hummingbird species are threatened or endangered. Their physical characteristics and ecological adaptations make their pollinator lifestyle unique – so much so that survey techniques used to understand population trends of other birds are generally ineffective for hummingbirds. Hummingbirds’ small size, significant physiological constraints, pollinator lifestyle, high-pitched vocalizations, and unique flight abilities are just some of the traits that require specialized techniques to monitor their populations.
Hummingbirds inspire, fascinate, dazzle, and bring joy to most all who have the opportunity to observe and live with them. Southwest author and journalist, Chuck Bowden, shared this experience of the profound impact of hummingbirds on people’s lives (published in his memoriam in January 2015, Arizona Highways):
“As a boy, I’d walk the dog under a tree in the corner of the park at twilight and hummingbirds would hover just over my head. I knew nothing of their customs or various nations then. But my boy’s eyes glimpsed an open door as the night came down and the promise of what I could be and learn if I left the everyday world and spun up into the sky.”
All hummingbirds face habitat loss and degradation of their nectar corridors as millions of acres of vegetation continue to be lost to extensive agriculture, urban sprawl and climate change. Here at HMN, we can’t imagine life without them. We inherently benefit from hummingbirds. Is it not time for us to fulfill our obligations and help them survive, reproduce, and thrive?
“They hover in front of our faces, but we hardly know their worlds.” Chuck Bowden
flying jewels amongst colorful flowers,
symbolize the mutuality of benefits and obligations
for and by people caring for their human and natural communities.
We herald cross-cultural, cross-generational, public and private endeavors
that help hummingbirds survive, reproduce, and thrive.
working together with shared interests and dreams,
enhances the capacity of communities to conserve hummingbirds
by integrating culture and arts with conservation and economic actions.
We embrace the multifaceted, ever-changing, hummingbird-human interactions
bringing mutuality to people, hummingbirds, and life.
We benefit from their Services.
Let’s celebrate their Diversity.
And Protect the Joy!
The Hummingbird Monitoring Network—a science-based, project-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of hummingbird diversity and abundance throughout the Americas—investigates what hummingbirds need to survive, successfully reproduce, and maintain thriving populations through monitoring, education/outreach, research, and habitat restoration/enhancement.
We envision a network of Hummingbird Conservation Communities working together
with reciprocity between people and hummingbirds.
The Hummingbird Monitoring Network (HMN), founded in 2002 with nonprofit status by 2004, began addressing hummingbird conservation issues, then a missing niche in bird conservation, and has since gained international recognition as a primary contributor. It is a unique organization that combines collaborative research, community involvement and training, with a view to understanding and appreciating the importance of hummingbirds and their conservation in a changing climate.
HMN has been successful at developing a tri-national (Canada, Mexico, USA), science-based monitoring program with partners from federal and state agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, and individuals who work as volunteers or citizen scientists; is one of four organizations funded to determine and predict the impact of climate change on hummingbird diversity and abundance; one of two organizations tasked with the development of hummingbird field techniques; and is a founding partner of Borderlands Restoration L3C that seeks to restore physical processes (e.g. hydrology, fire), enhance nectar landscapes for pollinators, and engage borderland communities (Mexico/USA) in conservation work. Further, HMN initiated an after school employment program that engages high school students in science and developed an internship program for Latin American college students to learn hummingbird field study techniques. In 2014, its sixth year, interns came from Mexico, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
For more information, please read from the selected lists of our publications, presentation, and press releases.
Staff really does not express who we are yet. For now, the following people—some paid, some volunteer—are working together to help hummingbird conservation efforts.
envisioned and leads the Hummingbird Monitoring Network (HMN). She has a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and an MA in Mathematics from the University of Arizona.
has developed new tools and improved existing tools for banding hummingbirds. He now sells these tools to permitted hummingbird banders. For the past 20 years, he has managed restoration activities at HMN’s headquarters along Harshaw Creek. He is a retired engineer from IBM.
is a biologist from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and will soon complete her Ph.D. at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Hummingbird ecology and the complex and amazing interactions between hummingbirds and their nectar resources are my primary interests.
is a biologist working for Biología Integral en Impacto Ambiental (BiiA), an environmental consulting firm in México. Habitat restoration, conservation, and hummingbird nesting biology are her primary interests. She has collaborated with the HMN the last 6 years as an intern and as a field instructor for monitoring techniques.
works for multiple organization to develop data models for analyzing demographic factors of bird populations. She has an M.S. in Wildlife and Fishery Science from Mississippi State University.
began painting birds at the age of 12, completed my professional training in art at California State University at Long Beach, with a BA degree in illustration and has developed unique bird illustrations using photography and digital image making. He helps HMN with many of its artistic endeavors.
is an accomplished free-flight bird trainers and has held several Curator positions at world-class zoological parks and animal training facilities such as the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Cincinnati Zoo. He currently offers independent consulting services and is helping HMN.
is a co-owner of the Robledo Vista Nursery, a native plants nursery near Los Cruces New Mexico and author of the recent book “Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest”.
is a recent Master of Science graduate from the University Of Arizona Eller College Of Management in Management Information Systems
who is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Alaska and an author of multiple books including North American Hummingbirds: An Identification Guide and Do Hummingbirds Hum?: Fascinating Answers to Questions about Hummingbirds;
who ended her career as Reserve Director for three reserves for the University of California’s Natural Reserve System and who passed away in spring 2015. She is sorely missed.